How is Johnny Cade a hero in The Outsiders?Two reasons that are detailed.

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Earlier in the story, Johnny demonstrates courage by asking Dally to stop harassing the girls they met at the movies. Dally, Johnny, and Pony were at Nightly Double, a drive-in movie place when Dally notices two girls (Cherry and Marcia) seated together and starts harassing them. His remarks force one of the girls to respond, presenting an opportunity for Dally to engage her in a conversation. Dally offers to get some sodas for the girls, but when he hands the sodas to the girls, one of them throws it back at him. Dally gets annoyed, but before he reacts, Johnny asks him to stand down, and he leaves. Later when Johnny and Pony are attacked by the Socs, Johnny comes to Pony’s rescue and stabs Bob. The Socs almost drown Pony in the fountain, but Johnny intervenes and stabs Bob to death. After the incident, the two boys are forced to go into hiding. Johnny also rescues the children trapped in the burning church at Jay Mountain. However, he suffers fatal burns and later dies at the hospital.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Johnny Cade displays two specific acts of courage in The Outsiders. First, he comes to Ponyboy's rescue in the park when the Socs try to drown him in the fountain. Johnny is forced to use the knife he has decided to carry following his previous beating by a Soc with large rings on his fingers. It is this exact Soc, Bob Sheldon, that Johnny stabs to death, forcing the Socs to release Pony. Johnny's second act of bravery comes on Jay Mountain when the church in which the two boys had been hiding catches fire. Johnny realizes that it was his and Pony's cigarettes that had started the fire, and Johnny knows that he must make amends. He and Ponyboy enter the burning church, followed by Dally. The three boys manage to save all of the children, but Johnny suffers fatal burns in the process.

ik9744 | Student

When Pony was attacked by the Socs he saved.him. He also saves the burning children in the church.

clayton188 | Student

Johnny Cade went into the burning church and gave his own life to save young children. This definitely makes him a hero.